Fresno church practices ‘social distancing’ while helping thousands with drive-thru food giveaway event

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A Fresno church is helping feed thousands of people all while practicing social distancing. On Saturday, Cornerstone Church held a food giveaway in downtown Fresno.

It’s one of the first events they’ve held since gatherings larger than 10 are currently not allowed during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The church turned the event into a drive-thru to help feed those in need.

One by one cars lined the streets, each waiting to receive free food from Cornerstone Church.

“Them doing stuff like this is just fantastic,” said Alexandria Montgomery, a Fresno resident.

For the last 25 years Cornerstone has helped feed those in the community, but right now the need is even greater.

Montgomery, a mother of two says the Coronavirus pandemic is creating hardships for everyone.

“Can’t find rice, beans, just the basics in life, we don’t even have access to that right now,” she said.

Pretty much all events have been canceled because of COVID-19, including a typical food giveaway. But Cornerstone found a workaround. 

“Because of the social distancing rules that are placed upon us, we can’t have walk-ups anymore so everybody has to be in a vehicle so we can maintain that social distancing,” said Pastor Jim Franklin of Cornerstone Church.

All the volunteers wore masks and gloves, while using devices to help hand out information to drivers. There were even signs reminding people to stay in their cars.

“I want to keep my workers safe and I want to keep these people safe, I don’t want to feed someone and meet a need but create a bigger problem and so that’s why we’re adhering very strictly to the guidelines,” Frankline said.

Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias was also at the event helping out. He says he’s glad to see the church taking these precautions.

“Social distancing is so important for everyone to honor and it has made the distribution of something as simple as food that more difficult and more time consuming and it’s taking us a little longer to distribute food but it’s important that those that we’re feeding, we’re also protecting their health,” Arias said.

The church had about 1,000 boxes of food to give out, each containing beans, rice, pasta, frozen fruits and chicken.

Franklin says there’s enough in each box to feed a family a four, for a week. But he says the need won’t stop, especially during this pandemic.

Franklin is asking for those who can to step up and help out.

“What they receive today will help them for a week but this need is going to be there again next week and the week after that,” Franklin said.

For more information on the next giveaway visit Cornerstone Fresno Church Facebook page or call (559) 442-0122.

To donate call or email: jimfranklin@cornerstonefresno.com

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